Here’s a quick quiz: If you use Procter & Gamble’s Ariel USA laundry detergent, should you use 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup or 1/5 cup of detergent for a medium-size load of laundry?
Our clean cousins at Consumer Reports, who have warned against “overdosing” on laundry detergents in the past, decided to answer that question after finding that the Spanish-only instructions on the Ariel package recommended 1/2 cup, which CR’s testers thought sounded like a bit too much for lavadas medianas. So, the organization contacted P&G:
We contacted P&G’s customer service for verification, starting with the English-speaking number. At first, the representative said the … measurements were correct. But when we pressed further, a supervisor came on and told us we should actually use 1/5 cup for a medium load. Next we called a Spanish-speaking representative, who added to the confusion by instructing us to use the scoop included with the product. When we explained that there was no scoop, the rep agreed to send us one in the mail. With this scoop, we were able to measure the proper amount of detergent–about 40 grams for a medium load–less than 1/4 cup. That’s nearly half as much detergent as what a consumer will likely use following the current ArielUSA instructions.
Consumer Reports says that P&G’s detergent instructions are usually pretty good. “The cap on its liquid Tide products, for example, has well-marked lines and easy-to-read numbers. P&G should apply the same standard to ArielUSA by including a clearly-marked scoop with the product and accurate instructions in any language.”
Spanish laundry detergent instructions are confusing, even if you speak Spanish [Consumer Reports News]